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Peter Edelman Education. (2012) 'So Rich, So Poor Why It's So Hard to End Poverty in America.'

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  CSPAN    Book TV    Peter Edelman  Education.  (2012) 'So Rich, So  
   Poor Why It's So Hard to End Poverty in America.'  

    September 29, 2012
    3:30 - 4:29pm EDT  

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anybody think raising taxes builds the economy? >> no! >> no, his plan is to continue what he's done before, the status quo has not worked. we cannot afford four more years of president obama. we're not going to have four more years of obama. wednesday, president obama and mitt romney meet in the first presidential debate. the news hours jim lehr moderates. watch and engage with c-span including the live debate preview at 7 p.m. eastern, debate at 9, and post debate, calls, reactions, e-mails, and tweets. follow our coverage on c-span, c-span radio, and online at c-span.org. now on booktv, peter takes about why our economy produces great wealth and great poverty at the same time. he offers suggestions on how to improve the conditions on tens of millions of americans living below the poverty line. this is about 50 minutes.
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>> well, thank you so much, debra. i am totally delighted to be here and thanks to busboys and poets for allowing me to be here, to talk with you, and, of course, thanks to all of you for coming. i see a lot of -- a lot of friends, some of my students are here. they already got their grades so no -- [laughter] nobody was threatened. this is -- we could spend a lot of time talking about how bad things are now, but we all know. it's a terrible time for a lot of reasons, and especially for low and lower income people and in our country, both directly and because of what's happened to our politics that are making matters a lot worse, both for the poor and the near poor, and as you know, it's happening at the federal level.
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it's happening because so many states are in deep fiscal trouble and are having to cut, sometimes more eagerly than others, but having to cut, and we're seeing paul ryan and his friends and colleagues in the house proposing a budget that is truly astonishing and absolutely horrible, both in terms of what it does to people of the lower end, and also the fact is contains an incredible amount of further tax cutting at the top, robin hood would be turning over in his grave i think. [laughter] the president clinton face -- the preface of my book is to put things in a larger context, to talk a little bit, and when you have a chance to read the book about why we are where we are on poverty and to look ahead a
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little bit about what we need to do, and, of course, the harder question for all of us is how we can create a politics where these issues and many others take a different turn, a better turn, in our country. ronald reagan said we fought a war on poverty and poverty won. well well-known, everybody heard that. the first thing i want to say, and i, of course, say in the book is that ronald reagan was wrong. [laughter] about many things. [laughter] the fact is, and we need to celebrate this that the public policies that we have from social security to a long list of earned income tax credit and food stamps and so on are keeping 40 million people out of poverty so that out of the 46 million people we have in poverty, which is certainly bad
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enough and then some, we would be at 8 # -- 86 million without the -- all of the policies that we have. we have been successful in our public policy. there's a paradox here that -- or an apparent paradox because what i said is absolutely true, but at the same time, if we look at the trends in the percentage of people who are poor in this country, in 1973, we had the lowest percentage that we've had since we started counting in the early 60s. that was 11.1%, and when bill clinton left off after ups and downs -- not downs below 11.1, but going up further, we ended the seeming ri at 11.-- century at 11.3%, and since that time, we had 15 million more people join the ranks of the poor this this country. i might say parenthetically, i
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bet everybody knows this, but the poverty line, so we have it in mind, is $19,000 now for a family of three. it's $23,000 for a family of four. not a very high income to have and a dollar above that and you're not poor anymore. up to 46 million, even in 2000, the same poverty rate that basically that we had in 1973, and then on the other hand, those 40 million people who were being helped who otherwise would be in poverty. how do those things fit together? that's really the heart of what this book is about so first of all, in terms of who those 46 million people are, just in a couple of words, and that is that most of them have work. most of them are working. a lot of them can't find
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full-time work. a lot of them are in low wage jobs which i'm going to talk about at greater length. it's not some different kind of person who is poor from all of us. most of the people who are ever poor in this country are below the poverty line for a relative short time. there's some consistently poor, intergenerationally poor, but we really have to end this idea that there's somebody who is different from the rest of us. basic, basic point about why we have so many low income people is because we have, surprise, surprise, so much low wage work. you -- you know, again, you hear over and over again politicians tell you, well, it's all somebody's individual fault. if they just tried harder, if
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they didn't go get on welfare all of this stuff, the fact is, and we know all of this, that the manufacturing jobs went away, good paying jobs went away a long time ago, and they were replaced, and thankfully they were replaced by jobs that just don't pay enough to live on, but i'm not sure if i sort of quizzed people here, people who are well-informed and read the papers, watch the news, and all of that whether people are aware of the magnitude of this. the median wage in this country, half the jobs in this country, pay less than $34,000. that's low. a quarter of the jobs in the country pay less than the poverty line for a family of four so no wonder so many people
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are having so much trouble. in somebody could -- if there were two possible wage earners in a household, going back then, and ever since then, then, okay, you can double that, and you can do fairly well, but you also had a great increase in the number of single moms, the number of people coping with the economy with only one wage earner, and so what is happened is we've gone from having the elderly be the lowest income group in the country -- i mean, yes, the lowest income group in the country to having indexed social security, having enacted supplemental social security, ssi, medicaid and medicare, the elderly the are least poor in the country, and the group, i'm not surprising you, that is the
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poorest are children. why? because children have parents, and this is largely a story about women. women and children. they are the poorest group. now, that job, that $34,000 job pays almost the same amount that it did in 1973 #. it's only gone up. if you take inflation intoing the. it's just gone up by 7% in the 8 years last year for which i've got numbers is 2011, only gone up 7% less than a fifth of 1% per year. it's really astonishing. did the country not -- did the economy not grow? well, of course it grew. all of that growth has stuck at the very top. 1%, 99%, absolutely. that's -- that is story number one that we need to have in mind in understanding why we're
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stuck, why there's so many people who are having such a tough time, and it goes all the way down into people who are working hard and can't even get out of poverty. second point in the terms of the story of the situation that we have, and that is that we've had an astoppishing increase in the -- astonishing increase in the number of people who have incomes below half the poverty line, deep poverty, extreme poverty, 20.5 million people, 20.5 million people in that category. it was 12.6 million at the beginning of this new century, in other words, up by almost 8 million in just 11 or 12 years, and doubled the percentage since 1976. well, what's that all about? it's largely about the near demise of cash assistance for mothers and children.
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second story that's largely about mothers and children, low wage work, deep poverty. we're now at the point where before welfare was, i say, re-formed, not reformed, re-formed, 68% of children and poor families received cash assistance. now, the benefits were terrible in some places. mississippi paid 11% of the poverty line, but legally obligated to get under federal law to make welfare available to people who came and applied for it. what's happened? well, let me tell you what's happened in this recession. it's really astone -- astonishing. food stamps was at 26 million people in 2007, 26.3 million.
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in the last five years, that's gone up to 46 million people. in other words, food stamps works. that's why mrs. gingrich called president obama the food stamp president because we had a program working to help people in the recession. he is the food stamp president, that's great. although, and food stamps were raised in the recovery act, the stimulus legislation, and that was a very, very good thing. now, why did they go up? because people had a legal right to get that when they went into the office to apply, had to be done. welfare, now temporary assistance for needy families, tanf, no longer a legal right. go in, you look healthy, you look like you can work, they can say whatever they want, there'si no obligation to do that. in the recession, tanf went up
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from 3.9 million people to 4.9 million, 500,000 people here, 20 million over there. huh? what do we have now? well, the state of wyoming wins the prize. 617 people in the entire state of wyoming, moms and kids, 4% of the poor children in wyoming are getting tanf. unbelievable. 25 states now, six more since i started writing the book, have under 20% of the poor kids. no wonder people are in deep poverty. it was run in the new "new york times" in the beginning of 2010, and it's the same now looking at the department of agriculture statistics, 6 million people in the united states of america who have only food stamps for income, only food stamps,
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astonishing. a third of the poverty line, $6,000 for a family of three. that's the story. far worse than it was 12 years ago. third thinghat we have to have on the disable. the major parse of the story is race. of course, race is a major part of the story. there's two things to keep in mind about that because it is well to remember, especially for political reasons in frying to accomplish things that the largest number of people in the country who are poor are white. and stands to reason it doesn't stand politically, but stands to reason, okay, if you make food stamps vail, if you make any
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benefit you want more adequate, it helps more white people than people of color. okay. full stop on that. other side of it is 27% poverty, african-american, latino, native american 10% white poverty. it's a picture that we know except we don't talk about it very much. i always say that the most dangerous place in america is the intersection between race and poverty. you might have some other nominees, but it's a pretty dangerous place to be. we need -- we need to have that conversation, the civil rights issue of the 21st century are that, race and poverty, and, of course, education is, indeed, governor romney said it the other day, i had to look at the notes to see i had it right, and
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the criminal justice system because in addition to the discrimination that violates the law, job discrimination, discrimination in housing and housing finance and so on, we have what we all know in terms of the structural, institutional discrimination of how our schools ordinary reason and opee systemmings and michelle alexander and the new jim crow, published by the new press, has made so clear how our criminal justice system operates. now, that's the basic set of things that we talk about in the book. i also talk, and i won't go into it in great length here, but
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about poverty in relation to place. our inner cities, app -- appalachia, colonial south texas, all of that because that's where we have the persistent poverty where we have the intergenerational poverty, and it -- i found it very interesting. i was down in north carolina the last three days in the blue place in north carolina. you have to be -- you want to be safe, you stay in duhram, capitol hill okay, raleigh sort of. i went through what i just went through with you, and, of course, it's crucially important, but when you're -- i mean, even here in washington, we know that places are really important about poverty. when we talk about ward seven
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and eight and what the issues were especially at eight, what issues were there, and what we have to do, social it's so muche complicated because we have to attack all things and deal with the people's choices about where they will live and deal with the question of looking at jobs as something in the regional economy, but it's also something that much more engages people locally around the country than these things that are matters of federal legislation. we should all be behind having the best national policy that we can have about income and jobs. the fact is that if we're going to do something about poverty and place, it needs to have a local commitment from within the naked. -- within the neighborhood. it needs civil responsibility, the question of personal responsibility, and the
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existence of community development and financing institutions, and community development cooperations, all of that becomes very, very important. remedies, i won't take a lot of time on that. this is -- this is so easy to go on for hours and hours, and i want to get to your questions, but certainly at the heart of this, because at the heart of -- if we're going to end poverty in this country, our job, we need to have a full employment economy, we need a macro economic policy that maximizes the amount of people working, and we need jobs where people end up with an adequate income. fact is, and this is a very troubling fact, and i hope i'm proven wrong about it, but i can tell you the things that we should do, not all of which -- none of which are easy to do,
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but we should be raising the minimum wage. anybody who has any way to be associated with unions and the politics about that, we need to strengthen unions because they are so important in our country, and they make such a difference, and i heard mary kay henry talk the other day at the american constitution society convention, and when you hear the things they are doing around the country, that gives you hope we can really move forward. all of the things that we do to -- that our work supports, that any decent society should do, are part of the raising income whether specifically like the effects of housing vouchers or living in public housing. that has an income e qif equivay about it. childcare has an equivalency about it. pelle grants are worth something. of course, the big one is health
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care. maybe i'll call for a moment of silence to pray for justice kennedy. [laughter] if you're a praying person, if not, think of another way to communicate. we'll find out on monday, and we can all hope the law is constitutional, that medicaid, you know, if there's any question in anybody's mind about has president obama done what we would have wanted or done good things about poverty, the answer is that he has. we have 16 million people on medicaid going forward, 16 million more people added, and we've been trying to have that happen since 1965. that's huge. that's absolutely huge. what -- what he did in the recovery act, 30% of the $787 billion was spent on low income people. that was terrific. the race to the top in education, i imagine we can get
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a strong conversation going about the details of that. there's probably differences in the room, but it was bout low income kids and improving education for them. we can wish that he would have taken more credit for them telling the country those things that actually happened in the clearer way, but the substance is absolutely clear. besides the things i've mentioned, we do have income support for people who are working with children, which is the earned income tax credit and the child tax credit, those are very important. my worry is that when you add up all of those things, and you think about what it really costs to have an adequate income, to really not worry about what -- whether you're one paycheck away from bankruptcy, whether -- even if you have health insurance, you might not go to the doctor because you're worried about the co-insurance or you're worried about the deductible. that number is something like
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the -- twice the poverty line that i mentioned earlier. i'm -- i think that we're going to do somewhat better on the low wage jobs. the chinese are raising wages. in india, they are raising wages, but i worry, it it has to get into the public conversation that when we do everything, we still need to talk about supplementing wages, having public policy to supplement wages. anyway, that's all on the work side. as far as the safety net at the bottom, it's easy to say, it's all easy to say, hard to do, we got to restore cash assistance to mothers with children. it has to be connected to work. it has to be designed in the right way, but the idea that only somewhat over 20% of american children who are poor are getting cash assistance is just unacceptable.
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the remedies go on into what we need to do about education, what we need to do about the criminal justice system. we need to be talking about the ladders of opportunity for young people. that's heavily about places as well, the role of community colleges, all of that. them there's the question of the politics, and all i can say about that is that it's really up to all of us. it really is. what we've got on our side is people power. we all know about citizens united. we all know about the incredible flood of money that's flowing into our politics, but we got more votes than they do. i think that the battle ground is especially between that 100% and 200% of poverty, and on up into the middle. you know, it's okay if president obama says we're struggling from
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the middle if he'd only talk about the poor at the same time, but that struggle, there are people by the millions who are voting against their economic self-interest, who somehow think they have more in common with people who don't want to give another nickel of their hard earned billion dollars to pay taxes in this country, and somehow people who are earning $40,000 or $50,000 a year think they are in the same boat as that. it's crazy. we absolutely need to get across the very simple point that it's their government. it's our government. those people, us, all same, and we want to have a government. norquist wants to shrink it, drown in the bat tub, this is
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our government, we're going to take it back, do things helpful to the majority of people in the country. i think our -- our occupy got us started. let's -- i think we really should agree on that. occupy got us started. you know, what that was about, better or worse, it was not about political strategy. made the point, we got 1% and -9d -- 99% out there. i'm dubious whether we got all the way through the 99%, but now it's up to us. fciu, the other unions, faith groups, all of us, whatever -- wherever we affiliate or act on our own because i think our democracy's in danger. we can't have so much power at the top from big cooperations and wealthy individuals without becoming a very different country, and we can't have disperties between the top and bottom and remain the democracy
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that we really claim we are and want to be. this has to change. it has to change. it changed in the progressive era. we can look back to that. there were the robber barrens, the captains of industry. they had enormous political power, and somehow between the muckrakers and people getting out and teddy roosevelt, we did have change in terms of the political outcomes and in terms of what it meant for ordinary people. i think there's precedent. i think we can do that m i think we can be optimistic as tough as things look now. let me close by quoting my -- i always end saying this -- rabbi abraham joshua, a great friend as most of you know, of dr. king, and great man himself said a lot of things, but one thing he said is very simple, and that is this: we're not all guilty, but we are all
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responsible. thanks for the chance to be here with you. [applause] >> we'll have time for q&a, and as a reminder, after the q&a, there's a book signing. if you don't have it yet, there's a bookstore at the other end of the restaurant. we support unions and independent bookstores. anyone has a question -- quick request that the shorter you keep the questions, the more people we hear from. we want a lot of voices here. quickly introduce yourself and then ask your question. >> hi, yeah, i'm christina, and i was just wondering in what -- in caps, they talk about issues, why they vote the way they do, and i agree with the problems, but the question is -- how do we
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address people in a way they understand, the way they are voting in the economic situation? >> well, we obviously have not figured that out yet, have we? we thought we were making progress in take into account. -- we thought we made progress in 2008, fabulous participation. many of the us in the room, we had a real presidential contest right next door in virginia, and we could go over there and canvas and make a difference for president obama. seems to me a lot of us after that said, okay, now you're president, you go to it. that was a huge mistake. that doesn't answer your question, but it's just maybe adding to the question. i think over a period of time it really it -- it's a combination of getting more people who are community kateing in this way --
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communicating in this way and all the ways, using social media and everything else, and there are people in the room who do that all the time, do fabulous work, it all makes a difference. it's organizing at the local level that we need to have that needs to get better, and the other thing is, i think, i would have thought we would have reached the tipping point by now, to use another author's term, and we have not, but my analogy, by reference to the progressive era sunlights that it's out -- suggests it's out there. ..
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>> my name is matthew. we don't want to -- we would also be useful and mine the data as it declines into generational mobility. and the intersection, and the outcome that we want, and the
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political decision around making things more progressive. >> and project and the ability like you do. i do talk about it in the book. tired of this question of people identifying and this is tough stuff because we want to be optimistic and what you and i are telling each other is the american dream that we are going to have -- all americans are going to have children who have the same chance that children of people at the top have is kind of -- not correct. that is a tough story to tell but it is correct. it has been true since the 1970s that mobility in this country has been basically stuck, very connected to the question of low-wage jobs because all of us
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will have our children and bland children get the most education they can because in individual cases many of them are going to make it. but to get across the idea that it narrows and debt has narrowed a lot more than was true between the end of world war ii and 1973 and as i am sure you know it is toughest in the african-american community because 45% of young people who were born into middle income families, young african-american men who were born into middle income families in the 70s and as adults -- we don't want to just dwell on that. that is disturbing. it is really bad but the same kind of being stuck is true
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across racial lines and so you are absolutely right. that is very much a part of the story we have to tell. in the very back. >> i wonder if you could talk more about -- [inaudible] -- multiple barriers to employment which means focusing on employment programs that are not helping -- [inaudible]. >> i don't think we know enough. i certainly think you are putting your finger on an important piece of the entire picture. just before i respond directly to that, we know that people in
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extreme poverty are proportionally in the south. they are disproportionately mothers and children although there are a significant number of single individuals too and disproportionately people of color. you go to the pine ridge reservation in south dakota you are certainly going to see some people in extreme poverty. the point you are raising about multiple barriers has to do with the bankruptcy of what we have done to welfare for moms and kids. when you get down to under four million people there were a whole lot of people who were left behind with no cash assistance at all but also they were largely, other than whoever
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was there to borrelli, large the people with multiple barriers that you talked about. we have a lot of research -- this is also thinking about an economy that is more robust than what we have now, but there are a lot of people that could work but you had to support the much more you had to deal with those barriers. whether it is particular attention to learning disabilities or depression or substance abuse -- they did not just on blindness but a blindfold to the fact that if you want more people to go to work you have to pay attention to them and a more individual way. there is a woman -- sounds like you know a lot about this -- in chicago for project match had
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done that quite successfully with moms who had particular issues. the point is you have to have coaching and stay with them. you can do it. it is easier not to bother. except in human terms. so yes. if we want to be serious about it but the other thing is if we want to be serious about it and there are not the jobs we have to provide the cash assistance for create the jobs. we are not doing that. >> i was wondering -- >> this is what i needed. >> as individuals if you want to
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give money, the obama campaign for the rest of the city. investing in anything. >> divided 50/50. we have to reelect barack obama. we have to take back the house. we have to keep the senate. and we -- and -- and -- is hard to give some. if you allow me to speak in a more general way it is important to have small contributions going in to political campaign in large number. that keeps us to be more democratic. all of these organizations in
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our city and people who are here many of them working for nonprofits that are vital to making a difference for low income people. i am talking 2,000 feet we ought to have all these changes in terms of income policy and structural problem and if we could help one homeless person we have done a fabulous thing. everybody who does that work one by one in the course of their lifetime, helping thousands of people. we need all of that in order to have that and give money to. maybe i have more money to give away than you do but i do both. >> this conversation aside one
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of the things -- more effective to find your issue and work hard at it rather than try to spread it fin. and homeless issues and figure out how to give your time and money to those causes. this has more impact. >> i will take that as a very friendly amendment. >> related to this conversation, looking at the big picture do you think there's any cause and effect relationship between -- [inaudible] >> yes. what did you think i was going to say? my friend hannah lieberman is
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looking at me. you may know i share the d.c. access to justice commission. it is something i spend a lot of time and i know as many of you do our local legal service community and this is true around the country and well over 95% have no lawyer. we have good laws on the books to protect them and we have ways too. counseling center when they come in where they could get a little briefing on how to go in there but there is basically destined to lose if they don't have a lawyer. it is hard to win and turning that colin over whin over when a
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lawyer it makes a huge difference. one of the things i am very prov is we went to our city council six 4 seven years ago. our state -- there were 43 states putting money into legal services. dc was not and now it is and we have 30 of our full-time lawyers out of 150 that we had financed with city money. we doubled the number of lawyers, who were working full time east of the river and all of that matters whether it is public benefits or some consumer issue or family law in some way protecting a woman from domestic violence. all of that including stopping an eviction. in specific cases it is the
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difference between being in poverty and not. it is not that we got to do all this. >> speaking of legal services or finding an issue like immigration to focus on bringing back an issue we don't talk about in that sense. it is about poverty and a lot of times people don't want to say that. they don't want to talk about poverty. i have worked for 20 years -- in the 1960s there wasn't a housing industry or food industry or employment industry that started to address poverty. but now it is disconnected from all those issues and that does not serve us well.
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>> there is a trade off. obviously we have the very serious problems are talked-about that we all know are out there and on the other hand we have various ways in which people are making a difference all the way from what they do one on one to the public policies we all know about that i talked about that are keeping forty million people out of poverty. but i think you put your finger on something i am not sure -- i guess it was different in the sense that we said we had a war on poverty. that was your point and that is a good point. so that you could get people to protect their own programs. it is good to protect food stamps or all the nutrition programs or work to have your passion be working on immigration and so on. some of the overarching issues
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about public benefits that don't tie to a particular issue with a different name than poverty you are quite right. it is harder to get broad public support for them. i don't have a great answer to that but if we identify the problem, maybe in terms of the various kinds of ways in which the organizations that do work on those issues communicate with the public built up a constituency for those things on a cost-cutting basis. it kind of goes back to my friend in the back a little bit. don't just what the on your issues. think about cost cutting issues that don't have anybody in particular who owns them and get on those as well.
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[inaudible] >> you talked a little bit about -- [inaudible] -- and some that argue that the rich are getting richer. and that would help the country. talk about the kind of cause and affect of the rich getting richer and making americans in general for. >> i guess i could give a ho . >> i guess i could give a hole just to begin withpoor . >> i guess i could give a hole just to begin with. >> i guess i could give a hole just to begin with about how trickle-down doesn't work that we can say that speech. not paying enough taxes means we don't have enough money to run the government. that is not just about low income people but a lot of things. also true that if we spend unnecessarily on defense we are
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not doing other things. it is not just about taxes. there is one aspect of it, those who got it and don't share it by law. we just have -- can't do things that we need to do. but then there is the part that is not just money. people just feeling correctly that they are not wanted as part of the social fabric. they are not included. that is going to happen in a much more awful way if there is this sense of a few handfulss of people and companies, the coke brothers and all the rest of
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that. it is a combination of the liberal affect of money being divided and has the effect -- we have the gated community and the affects of that is much more than the gates themselves. they knew nothing about the rest of society and care nothing about the rest of society. pull up the gangplank and set the traps and heck with it. it is corrosive to the quality of the democracy itself. >> one more question.
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>> my name is may. my personal thought is you need to get the young people out to vote. i would love to know -- [inaudible] >> you want me to ask? [laughter and applause] >> okay. if you want me to make raise their hands. anybody who wants to confess. don't you think everybody who comes to hear this would be registered? if you are not registered, tomorrow. you are absolutely right. you are so absolutely right. i think we are done. thank you so much. >> is there a nonfiction author
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or book you would like to see on booktv? send us an e-mail at booktv@c-span.org or tweak as at twitter.com/booktv. >> i wanted to read what i felt was one of the more moving passages. as you describe what is happening before the camera is rolling. and that was not the intent and that was made clear to me that one of the officers suddenly kicked me with his boots inside of my face. felt like someone had taken a baseball bat to my head before i could even register the unbearable pain. one of the other officers landed me in the lower leg. i heard a crack and was so surprised that i immediately pleaded with melody who was one
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of the arresting officers who at that point had become a guardian angel and different from the rest. i knew this was going to sound -- i know this is going to sound strange but until that point i had felt safe with her. a maternal presence that would not allow things to get too out of control. i shouted out to her they don't have to do this. tell them they don't have to do this. >> guest: real brief going into that story. when i was initially pulled over i had been drinking and driving. if i had a job to go to, they caught me and paying more money than i was making from being an usher at dodger stadium and pizza stands and all. they told me to be ready to go to work monday. when i heard that, i got a few beers and went to my buddy's house to let them know i would
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be going to work. didn't know how they would feel about that. feel a little a angry or upset. it was all good. i went out with them and we were on our way -- my dad used to take as fishing because i didn't want to be in the same little community where we were, where we grew up, a couple of us. we started out over there. then they started chasing me in the car and so the only thing i was thinking about was i got to get back -- got to get this job. going to start work monday and the cops are on me and i knew i had been drinking. got to get away. >> host: that is lots of words. >> guest: i had worked myself -- when you come out of prison you try to do the right thing and all of a sudden your whole world is about to stop because you are on parole and going back to
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jail. that was all i could think of. i lost the highway patrol car and what happened was the helicopter was there. getting away from the helicopter. my goodness. >> you did thing for a minute you might not run. you were in a on the. >> guest: hyundai excel. it was an upgrade. >> host: mr. canes doesn't know this but i was pushing a hyundai at the time. it has a little coop hatchback and i used to drive philadelphia to chicago from college and in the allegheny mountains and it wouldn't get past 55. you rethinking you were in a hot rod but you were in a hyundai.
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>> guest: exactly. to my surprise they caught up with me. when they caught up with me i could see them pulling up on the side of me. looks like -- pull over. my heart started pounding. i said are already know a beating is coming after this. that is how it goes. that is how it has been over the years. i was looking for a lit area to stop. where i chose to stop there were apartment buildings but nobody out. i said to myself if i get out here and it goes bad maybe somebody will come outside or something and sure enough it went bad. she ordered me out of the car. a husband and wife team. highway patrol, the initial ones
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on the chase. she came over to me. they had ordered me out of the car. take your right hand out and take your left hand and open the car and lay down so i laid down face down so she came over to me and got my wallet out of my back pocket to get my id. as she was doing that i was looking at them and they ran into the truck and popped the trunk fast and data taser out of the car. i said i amgot out taser out of the car. i said i am on the floor face down. i told you don't have to do this because i knew what was coming. husband walked up and kicked me in the head -- in the temple ary and broke my jaw and ask how do you feel? my whole heart and everything was broken at that point.
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only thing i could do was not let them know you got the best of me when she did. i told -- couldn't even talk. i feel fine. john breaux and blood coming out, i feel fine. and sergeant kuhn comes up and tasered me right away. he is letting me up. i could feel the blood coming out of my mouth. how do you feel now? i couldn't say anything. he told me to run. ago to? and i'm going to run. i am looking for a clearing and when i see clearance between the hyundai and the police officer what i'd do is i get up to go
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run but this leg when this land was in front of me i didn't know it was broke so the leg when out. when i fell down and looked -- able to make the camera looks like i was going after it because my hands were like this but i was trying to get my hands in front of me. >> host: the video still wasn't running. >> guest: that is when the video had been running maybe 15 seconds. it caught that. what it didn't catch was them name calling and the taser, the juice running 50,000 volts through my body. he did that in three shots and discharge all three shots. when he was doing that these guys are beating me with a baton and telling me to stay still. no way you can stay still with those kinds of volts running
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through your body. i am soaked in blood and electricity at the same on-time. i am feeling -- like burning up the house when i was a kid. like matches in the trash can. take a bath and don't dry off. that same whipping somehow felt like it prepared me for that. getting hit with a stick extension card and shock is the same feeling. it is a horrible feeling. when i felt that it was 20 times worse than the extension cord. the guy was running the taser until it ran out. when he stopped the taser i was regrouping myself trying to see if i was still there.
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trying to stay still but i can't. so he starts beating me some more because i am moving. he is moving. he is moving. i could hear him calling me names. and then once you start cursing and beating somebody you get into it so they are really into it calling me names and really into it. at this point i am like oh man. >> host: you have a moment you described in the book and i want the audience to hear you describe it where you said in search yourself in the long history of black people experiences in the united states and make specific reference to slave beatings. >> guest: i will tell you what gave me a lot of strength, when we went through this in